For many people, playing sports is something we must give up as we age. Without the structure of school teams or the vast pool of potential teammates a university provides, it’s harder to find a team to join. Even if you find a team to play on, the pressures of work and adult life make it hard to commit to practicing and playing regularly unless you make it your only hobby.
Instead, we move on to just watching sports. Some people add betting on sports to their activities as well. Betting on sports can make you feel closer to the action since you have something tangible riding on the games. For example, checking the NFL odds before placing a bet in the lead-up to a big game can become part of enjoying the sport.
While watching sports is great, we shouldn’t have to sacrifice playing sports too. Instead of finding leagues for popular team sports, which can either be too competitive, too time-consuming, or too cliquey, it’s a brilliant idea to look for more niche sports to play. Niche sports tend to have dedicated followings, but they also better grasp that this is for fun, not to relive high school glory days or something equally disappointing.
If you’re ready to play and not afraid to get a little weird with it, here are 5 sports you probably haven’t considered trying before:
While the casual version of the game is still played by many as a relaxing activity, it’s not the only way to play. The more intense version of the game is faster-paced and played on a court instead of a lawn.
Badminton is played in singles or doubles matches, so you don’t have to coordinate practice time with an entire team, just with a few other players. The rules are pretty basic, so it is easy to pick up and unlikely to cause many disagreements.
Ultimate Frisbee might be the most popular sport on our list. Like rugby, points are scored by getting the frisbee into the opposing team’s end zone. Unlike rugby, it is a no-contact sport. The remaining rules are pretty straightforward, and the sport prefers self-officiating to having referees. This encourages communication among players.
If you have a dog that enjoys chasing a frisbee, you can combine practicing your frisbee skills with exercising your dog. This can make it easier to fit into your busy daily schedule. Disc golf is a solo alternative if you enjoy playing frisbee but don’t have the time to make a team sport work.
Roller derby is a high-intensity contact sport that women almost entirely play. It’s one of the rare team sports played on roller skates. Playing in teams, points are scored by a team when their selected player laps a member of the opposing team. Every player has to act on offense and defense to play successfully.
A considerable part of the fun of roller derby comes from the pageantry involved. Players wear bright-colored helmets and fun uniforms, and many wear dramatic makeup. Many players also have funny nicknames or characters, like in professional wrestling. It is both great exercise and very creative.
Climbing is a great sport that can be adapted to everyone’s needs. It can be done indoors on climbing walls or outside in nature. Traditional climbing usually involves ropes and heights, while bouldering is done on lower rock faces. It can be done solo or with a group. Climbing can be competitive – we saw it added to the 2020 Summer Olympics – but it can also just be done for fun and exercise.
It may be difficult to think of rolling down a hill inside a giant plastic bubble as a sport, but it is awesome. Zorbing was created in New Zealand in the 1990s and has spread worldwide. Speed and distance are how a successful zorb roll is measured. There are also zorb variations to more traditional team sports, like zorb soccer.
This sport is almost impossible to see as anything other than a great way to have fun. The only issues are that you need a zorb and a long, gentle hill to roll down, neither of which are accessible to everyone.